Principals back Countdown's child energy drink ban

Countdown is getting a pat on the back from principals over its move to restrict the sale of energy drinks to people 16 and over.

The supermarket says the fact children often consume the products on the way to school was among its concerns.

Principals' Federation President Whetu Cormick is pleased to see the company take a stand.

"We know that if children are drinking sugary drinks before school, that can impact on their learning. I'm sure those schools that are near a Countdown will be pleased," he told Newshub.

The changes take effect in September. But Cormick says unless dairies and others make similar changes, the impact will be minimal.

"If all stores are not going to be doing it then it's not going to have a national impact - but I guess we should acknowledge that Countdown are trying to do something."

Countdown's competitor Foodstuffs, which runs New World and Pak'nSave, won't be following suit.

"Research shows people under the ages of 16 are not high consumers of these types of products, however it is important to us that we provide customers with the information they need to make informed decisions," a spokesperson said.

The New Zealand Beverage Council unsurprisingly condemned Countdown, saying warning labels were enough, and energy drinks only made up a minimal percentage of kids' total caffeine intake.